Dana Reed Bailey.

History of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. online

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Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 28 of 99)
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man and fullv alive to the possible result of such a provision in the
contract. But all the details were arrang-ed, and the writer drew the
contract. It was a compromise affair. A certain amount was to be
paid in advance (S200) so Mr. Jewell could g-et his chemicals, and
S400 more to be paid if a rainfall of one half inch should be produced
within a g-iven time, with a provision that, in case at the expiration of
the time one half inch had not been produced and it was raining-, Mr.
Jewell should be permitted to finish his shower and g-et his money.
After the contract was made Mr. Jewell went to Stite's drug- store
and boug-ht about one dollar and fifty cents worth of chemicals and
went to his box car and, to be exact, at 3:30 P. M., on the 19th day of
June in the year of our Lord one thousand eig'ht hundred and ninety
four, he let loose to an unsuspecting-, unprepared firmament all the
g-as he could produce from the materials he purchased of Stites.
The next day (Wednesday the 20th) he announced to the people
throug-h the newspapers that there would be a g-reat downpour of
rain before 6 P. M., on the following- Thursday, and requested the
daily papers to advise their readers to be prepared for a delug-e of
rain. The weather bureau got hold of Jewell's prog-nostications and
on Wednesday it predicted rain for Thursday in the locality of Sioux
Falls. Hicks, Coats and Thomas J. Mills all climbed onto Jewell's
band wag-on, and it did seem as thoug-h the mig-hty elements of nature
had been corraled at last, and^rould soon perform their functions,
refreshing- the thirst}' soil in Minnehaha county. But the elements
were intractable and refused to be milked by Jewell, and Thursday
passed into history in Sioux Falls as one of the most defiant dry
days of the season. Friday explanations were in order, and Jewell
affirmed that the g-reat altitude of Sioux Falls made it difficult for him
to inject his g-as into the atmosphere and bring- it down to the dew-
point. It should be mentioned that during- the week he was in
Sioux Falls there were frequent showers all about Minnehaha
county, but none within its limits until Saturday when there was
a moderate shower in the northern portion, and Saturday even-
ing- there was a g-entle rain in the city of Sioux Falls and vicinitv.
While here, althoug-h not successful in producing- rain, he sold to
Hanson and McCook counties the rig-ht to use his invention in pro-
ducing- rain in those counties for the sum of S700 for each county.
They had to contract, however, to keep their showers in hand and
not work on such an extensive scale as to water the adjoining- coun-
ties. In the Sioux Falls Preset of Saturday morning- June 23, an



article appeared, written by Harley Pettig-revv, which completely
punctured the whole scheme and made it too ridiculous for its most
sano-uine supporters to ever mention it ag-ain. He went at the prob-
lemf rom a scientific standpoint and demonstrated how impossible it
would be, even by the use of train loads of chemicals to condense the
moisture in a singde cubic mile of the atmosphere, to say nothing-
about causing- a rainfall over an area of 816 square miles of territory.
Mr. Jewell left Sioux Palls on Saturday afternoon following- his
failure, and since then rainmakers are not on the schedule of quota-




In crivino- the history of the twenty-four townships comprising-
the County of Minnehaha, with the municipalities carved out and
org-anized within their limits, the same order has been followed as
adopted by the g-overnment survey and followed by the county com-
missioners in dividing- the county into civil townships.

The survey, the streams and lakes, and to some extent the topo-
g-raphical features of each township are described, and a brief account
of its settlement, industries, churches and other societies also
appears. Some of the official proceeding-s of the townships and other
municipal org-anizations are noticed, and a list of township, town and
city officials from the time of their org-anization to 1899, inclusive, are
carefully compiled, followed by biog-raphical sketches of residents.

The desig-n at first was to publish this work in 1895, but the
financial depression at that time made it impracticable to do so, and
not until now has it seemed expedient to present it to the public. In
some matters nothing- has been added since then, especially in refer-
ence to the fraternal societies and kindred subjects. A larg-e pro-
portion of the biog-raphical sketches had been written at that time,
and since then some of the persons whose biog-rapnies appear, have
removed and others died, of which, for obvious reasons, no mention is
made. In procuring- biog-raphical sketches at least fifteen hundred
circular letters were mailed to residents of the county, with questions
for them to answer, and althoug-h a postage stamp was inclosed a
large number of these circulars were not returned, and consequentlv
biog-raphical sketches of many of the old residents do not appear.
Great pains has been taken to be exact in the matter of dates and in
presenting- the names of persons correctly, but errors in this respect
have undoubtedly been committed, owing- to unreliable information
and the obscure sig-natures we necessarily had to decipher.

In compiling- the lists of officials the records have been examined
for the necessary information. Some of these records are quite com-
plete, while others are very incomplete, failing- to g-ive the names of
the officials from year to year, and the records being- practically the
only reliable source of information, some of the lists must necessarily
be quite imperfect.



In the issue of the Sioux Palls Pantaojraph published in Sioux
Falls on the 18th day of February, 1874, the followin*,'- item appears:
"In the month of January last, four new townships were org"inized
in Minnehaha county, and officers elected. The officers of the new-
town of Benton were Wm. Alg-uire, J. C. Eldrido-eand Mr. Hartwell,
supervisors; A. S. Fuller, clerk; J. D. Green, treasurer; J. C. El-
dridg-e, assessor; R. Foster and H. Neer, justices; H. W. Burvee
and A. Lifto, constables; D. Alg-uire, Sr., overseer of higfhways."
Having- had access to the clerk's books of every township in the
county, and finding- no records prior to 1881, Mr. Eldridg-e of Benton
was interviewed in reference to this item, and he said: "I remember
there was a meeting- held at my place about that time, and that a
school district was organized, and township matters discussed, but I
have no recollection of being- elected supervisor or assessor. I know
I never did any assessing-, there was a county assessor at that time."
Upon interviewing- other persons likely to know something- in reg-ard
to such township org-anization, their recollections were found to be so
indistinct and conflicting- in fact, and the improbability of being- able
to ascertain the exact facts, where no records could be found, the
idea of any further reference to them was abandoned.

One thing- is certain, however, that all the townships in the
county were org-anized under the provisions of "An Act providing
for Org-anization of Civil Townships, and the Government thereof"
to take effect from and after its passag-e and approval, which was
passed by the leg-islature of the Territory of Dakota in 187*), and ap-
proved February 18.

There were ninety-eig-ht sections in this law, and its provisions
justified its title. It enacted that upon the presentation of a petition
from fifty legal voters of any county to the county commissioners,
they should, at a special election, submit the question whether the
system of township government as provided in the law^ should be
adopted by the county, and if a majority of the votes cast at such
election should be in favor of township government, then the board
of county commissioners should immediately proceed to divide the
county into civil townships, fix and determine the boundaries there-
of and number the same, and in so doing should have reg-ard for the
natural boundaries, and that at any time thereafter the board might
alter and change the same, provided, that the number of civil town-
ships should not exceed the number of congressional townships or
fractional parts thereof greater than one-half.

On the 22d day of May, 1880, petitions containing- in the ag-
gregate the names of 145 legal voters of the county were presented
to the county board, asking to have the question of township govern-
ment submitted to a vote of the people of the county. In pursuance
to the request of the petitioners, a special election was ordered, and
held on Monday the 28th day of June, and resulted in favor of town-
ship government, 582 votes being cast /?>;% and 88 (((>-ai)LsL

On the 8th day of July, the county board canvassed the vote and
numbered the townships, commencing with Valley Springs as num-



ber one, and so on throuo-h township one hundred and one, then Red
Rock as number seven, concluding- with Buffalo as number twent\^-

Bv the provisions of this law the electors of the several town-
ships were required at the first election to choose by ballot a name
for the township to take the place of the number fixed by the county

Since the passag-e of this act, the law g-overning- townships has
been chang-ed from time to time to meet the wants of the people, so
that at the present time a well dig-ested system appears upon our
statute books, and its provisions are g-enerally understood by those
interested. It is to be hoped that there will be very little leg-islation
in the future in reference to this subject, and only such leg-islation
as the exig-encies of the times may imperatively demand.














This township is situated in the southeast corner of the county.
It is bounded on the east by the Minnesota state line, and on the
south by the Iowa state line. It has some excellent farms and farm
buildinors and, comparatively speaking, no waste land. The main
branch of Beaver creek, which enters Palisade township on section
thirty-four and runs in a southwesterly course throuo-h Red Rock
township, enters Valley Spring-s on section four, and continuing- in
the same course leaves the township on section seven. The other
branch has its source in the southeast corner of the township, and
runs in a northwesterly course until it forms a junction with the main
branch on section thirteen in Split Rock township. The south line,
which is the Iowa boundary line, was surveyed in July, 1852; the east,
Minnesota boundary line, in Julv, 1862; the west, by Cortez Pessen-
den, in July, 1862; the north, by M. K. Armstrong-, 'in October, 1864,
and the subdivisions were made bv Carl C P. Mever in October,
1864. It contains 15,117.82 acres.

S. A. Johnson and Alfred Larson, and perhaps some others, took
up land in this township as early as 1870. Frank (t. Anderson and
Stephen Danielson located there in 1871, and from that time the town-
ship was quite rapidly settled. In June, 1872, Jonathan Dunham and
M. L. Wood took up land in section three, and a Miss Nancy Mer-
chant pre-empted a portion of the northwest quarter of the same sec-
tion, where the village is now located. Messrs. Dunham and Wood
erected a residence, and commenced breaking- the land, and thinking-
the location favorable for a business center, made application for the
establishment of a post office. January 1, 1873, the Valley Spring-s
post office was established, and Jonathan Dunham appointed post-
master, the office being- at Mr. Dunham's residence. A. C. Stone was
the second postmaster, and for a while the office was at his residence,
but was afterwards removed to the store of Stone & Howe. The
next postmaster was P. E. Howe. In 1876, Alfred Larson was ap-
pointed postmaster, and in 1880, he was succeeded by Charles Olson.
The first store was established by A. C. Stone and P. E. Howe in the
fall of 1873. The first blacksmith shop was that of C. O. Remming-
on the north side of the railroad, which was opened in the spring- of
1876. In November, 1880, W. W. Bell opened the first harness shop.
A man bv the name of Ljung-ren erected a store building- 20 by 50
feet, two "^stories hig-h, in 1878, and engag-ed in the hardware busi-
ness. On the 4th dav of June, 1878, a station was established on


what is now the C, St, P., M. & O. railroad, and Valley Spring-s can
boast of having- the first railroad station in Minnehaha county. The
first marriag-e was that of P. E. Howe and Prances H. Acker,
and the ceremony was solemnized by the Rev. J. W. Rig-by June 28,
1874. The first birth was that of a daug-hter to John C. and Martha
Shepard. The first school was taug-ht by Miss Ida Shafer during-
the summer of 1874. One of the present school building-s was erected
in the summer of 1878, at a cost of $1,600, and is a fine two-story
structure. The building- which is now the Central House, was
erected in 1878, for a private residence. In 1879, it was purchased
by Grove Hemsley, and used as a boarding- house one year, when it
was enlarg-ed, and has since been used as a hotel, under the efficient
manag-ement of Prank Mellen, who is still the proprietor. The Val-
ley Spring-s Cemetery Association was org-anized May 2, 1879, and
the g-rounds are located on the southeast quarter of section 3, and
contain ten acres.


Ben Clare is a station on the Illinois Central railroad, located on
the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section thirty-
three, in Valley Spring-s township. It is the first station on this
line of road in the state, and is nicely located. At the present time
there are only a few building-s at Ben Clare, but the surrounding-
country is occupied by prosperous farmers, and in the near future
a thrifty villag-e is sure to g'row up. It has two g-rain warehouses, a
g-eneral store, blacksmith shop, and a Methodist church building-, be-
sides the depot. A post office was established soon after the railroad
station was located. I. G. Woodward was the first postmaster, but
since his resig-nation Henry Doman, Prank Bowen and Severt Sever-
son have held the office in the order named.


Methodist Episcopal Church. — A church was org-anized at
Ben Clare in the spring- of 1890, which was called the Ben Clare
Methodist Episcopal Church, with a membership of thirty-five.
During- the fall of 1893, a handsome church building- was erected
east of the town site of Ben Clare, at a cost of about $2,000, which
was principally paid by the members of the church. It was dedi-
cated on Sunday, January 14, 1894. The following- ministers have
had charg-e of the church: the Reverends H. B. Green, H. B. Clear-
water, S. S. Hookland, S. C. Olds, G. W. Shindlar, E. Honeywell,
Nathan Pawell, H. C. Eberhart and Thomas Morris. Services are
held in the church every two weeks. Sunday school is held everv
Sunday, with an averag-e attendance of forty-five. A Woman's Aid
society and a Chapter of the Epworth Leag-ue are also connected
with the church.

Beaver Valley Swedish Lutheran Church. — This church
was org-anized in 1875 by the Rev. C. W. Wretloff. Seryices were
held in the school house until in 1880, when a large and commodious
church building- was erected on the northwest quarter of section 6


in Valley Spring-s, at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars.
A parsonag-e was also built near the church, at a cost of one thou-
sand three hundred and fifty dollars. The following ministers have
succeeded Mr, Wretloff, in the order named: J. H. Randall, A.
Sundberg-, Dr. C. J. Ellofson, and Rev. Sundquist, who is the
present pastor. Services are held every Sunday, and the member-
ship of the church is about two hundred. There is a Sunday school
connected with the church, with an averag-e attendance of about fifty
scholars, also a Christian Endeavor and Young- People's societv.


The first meeting- of the town board was held January 10, 1881.
The supervisors were J. E. Hallett, chairman, S. A. Johnson and A.
T. Arneson; clerk, Georg-e Cassady; assessor, W. G. Butterfield.

1882. Supervisors, J. R. Jackson, chairman, Arne T. Arneson,
ToUe J. Bye; clerk, Georg-e Cassady. At a meeting- of the board
April 15, smallpox having- broken out in the township, several strin-
g-ent orders were made to prevent the spread of the disease. Special
constables were appointed to enforce the orders made. May 8, D. B.
Cook was paid S350 for building- a bridg-e over Beaver creek.

1883. Supervisors, RoUa Burkholder, chairman, Arne T. Arne-
son, Madison Bennett; clerk, Charles P. Bissell; assessor, F. C.
Bell; treasurer, W. H. Riddell; justice, D. B. Cook; constable, C. J.
Conway. June, 5, C. P. Bissell resig-ned as clerk, and Geor<je Cas-
sady was appointed.

1884. Supervisors, W. R. Burkholder, chairman, S. A. John-
son, Madison Bennett; clerk, W. H. Gibbs; treasurer, Geo. Cassady;
assessor, D. B. Cook; justice, A. C. Gibbs; constable, W. J. Carey.

1885. Supervisors, W. R. Burkholder, chairman; Madison Ben-
nett, S. A. Johnson; clerk, W. H. (xibbs; treasurer, Geo. Cassady;
assessor, C. C. Snook; justice, A. C. Gibbs.

1886. Supervisors, W. R. Burkholder, chairman, Madison Ben-
net, S. A. Johnson; clerk, W. H, Gibbs; treasurer, Geo. Cassady;
assessor, D. W. Lawrence; justice, Lewis Spawn; constable, Joe
Carle. October 26, M. H. Gibbs resig-ned, and W. H. Riddle was ap-
pointed clerk.

1887. Supervisors, W. R. Burkholder, chairman, Madison Ben-
nett, Olof Olson; clerk, W. H. Riddell; treasurer, Geo. Cassady;
assessor, F. M. Bunn; justice, J. L. Harring-ton; constable, W. J.

1888. Supervisors, Charles Harvey, chairman. Olof Olson,
Madison Bennett; clerk, W. H. Riddle; treasurer, Geo. Cassady;
assessor, Henry Howe; justice, Lewis Spawn; constables, W. J.
Carey and C. D. Scheffer.

1889. Supervisors, Charles Harvey, chairman, Olof Olson, A.
T. Arneson; clerk, W. H. Riddle; treasurer, Geo. Cassady; assessor,
Charles Potting-er; justices, J. H. Harring-ton and Geo. Rockwood,
but Mr. Rockwood failed to qualifv, and C. J. Conway was appointed.

1890. Supervisors, Charles Harvey, chairman, Olof Olson, J.
G. Kimball; clerk, Louis Hetland; assessor, Charles Potting-er;
treasurer, E. W. Schmidt; justices, I. C. Woodard and J. D. Burg -


hardt; constable, C. J. Conway. I. C. Woodard died, and William
Oakes was appointed to fill the vacancy.

1891. Supervisors, Charles Harvey, chairman, J. G. Kimball,
Olof Olson; clerk, L. S. Hetland; treasurer, E. W. Schmidt; assessor,
F. M. Bunn; justices, W. H. Riddle and W. F. Oakes; constable, J.
J. Urquart.

1892. Supervisors, Henry Howe, chairman, Madison Bennett
and Charles Haig-ht; P. E. Howe, clerk; W. H. James, treasurer;
Harry Kiffe, assessor; Charles Harvey, justice; Charles Fish, con-

Madison Bennett did not qualify and Milton Wrig-ht was ap-
pointed supervisor.

1893. Supervisors, P. E. Howe, chairman, A. E. Rockwood and
Milton Wright; Geo. Wrig-ht, clerk; E. W. Schmidt, treasurer; Harry
Kiffe, assessor; F. M. Bunn, justice; J. J. Urquhart and Byron
Whitne}', constables.

1894. Supervisors, J. D. Burg-hardt, chairman, Frank Allen
and L. G. Carlstrom; G. W. Wrig-ht, clerk; E. W. Schmidt, treas-
urer; Charles Harvey, assessor.

1895. Supervisors, J. D. Burg-hardt, chairman, Frank Allen
and L. G. Carlstrom; P. E. Howe, clerk; Charles Haig-ht, treasurer;
Charles Harvey, assessor.

1896. Supervisors, Frank Allen, chairman, Olof Olson and
John H. Johnson; P. E. Howe, clerk; S. A. Johnson, treasurer;
Charles Harvey, assessor.

1897. Supervisors, Frank Allen, chairman, Olof Olson and John
H. Johnson; P. E. Howe, clerk; S. A. Johnson, treasurer; Charles
Harvey, assessor.

1898. Supervisors, Olof Olson, chairman, Georg-e K. Rockwood
and Madison Bennett; Perry E. Howe, clerk; S. A. Johnson, treas-
urer; Henry Harvey, assessor.

1899. Supervisors, Olof Olson, chairman, Georg-e K. Rockwood
and Madison Bennett; Perry E. Howe, clerk; S. A. Johnson, treas-
urer; Henry Harvey, assessor.


Anderson, August, was born in Sweden in 1841. He emig-rated
to the United States in 1869, and worked as carpenter in Sioux City,
Iowa, until 1872, when he decided to brave the hardships of pioneer
life, and removed to Dakota. He located in this county, taking up a
homestead and tree claim in Red Rock township, which he afterwards
sold to Axel Olson, and now resides on his farm in section 7 in Val-
ley Spring's. He has a g-ood farm, is well thoug-ht of by his neig-h-
bors, and is a g-ood citizen.

Anderson, Frank, was born in Nassjo, Sweden, in 1849. Came
to Minnehaha county in 1871, and secured a homestead and tree claim
comprising- 320 acres in section 7 in Valley Spring-s, where he resided
until his death, which occurred on the 25th day of April, 1895. On
that day he and two of his sons had been at work on a quarter sec-
tion of land which he owned in section nine, and they were just start-


ing- for home when a severe thunderstorm came up and he was struck
by lig-htning- and instantly killed. He was a very industrious hard-
working-, honest man, and g-reatlv respected by his neig-hbors. He
had accumulated considerable property and left his family, consist-
ing- of his wife and ten children, well provided for.

Anderson, Martin, was born on the Lofoden Island in Nor-
wav, September 20, 1859. He emig-rated to the United States in
18()8; resided in Iowa for eleven years, and removed from there and
settled in this county in March, 1879. He secured the northeast
quarter of section 29, in Valley spring's were he now resides, and has
a g-ood farm with g-ood building-s. He is also the owner of the south-
east quarter of the same section. He is a g-ood citizen.

Arneson, Arne T., was born in Norway June 25, 18+2. He
emig-rated to the United States in July, 1863, and died at Valley
Spring-s November 13, 1894. When he first arrived in this country
he enlisted in the military service, and served until the close of the
war. He then settled in Fillmore county, Minnesota, and eng-ag-ed in
farming until 1874, when he removed to Valley Springs in this county.
He took up the northwest quarter of section 34 as a homestead, and
the northeast quarter of section 21 as a tree claim. He was a ver}'
industrious man and a g-ood farmer, and he soon transformed the
naked prairie into one of the most comfortable homes in the county.
He had the confidence of his neig-hbors and townsmen, and was
frequently chosen to fill the offices of his school district and town-
ship. He was a larg-e-hearted man, thoroug-hly honest and uprig-ht,
and his death in the prime of manhood was deeply reg-retted by all
who knew him.

Bye, Tolle J., was born in Norway January 14, 1845. He emi-
g-rated to the United States in 1869, and lived in Sioux City, la., and
Canton, S. D., before coming- to this county in 1873. At that time
he took up a homestead and a tree claim, but afterwards sold his
homestead, and now resides on his tree claim, the southwest quarter
of section 5, in Valley Springs. He also boug-ht 160 acres of
school land in section 16, in the same township, and has a g-ood
farm. He was a member of the town board in 1882, is a thrifty
farmer, and good citizen.

Bennett, Madison, was born in Ohio in 1851, but moved with
his parents to Wisconsin in 1855, and to Iowa in 1858, where he
received his education and resided until June, 1872, when he removed
to this county and located in Valley Springfs. He took up as a home-
stead the northeast quarter of section 30, and has now a farm of
320 acres, well improved. He has been a member of the town Iward,
is a g-ood farmer and a respected citizen.

Danielson, Stephen, was born in Sweden in 1840. He emi-
g-rated to Wisconsin in 1869; removed from there in 1871, and settled
in Minnehaha county. He took up as a homestead the southeast
quarter of section 6, in Valley Spring-s, were he still resides and has
a well improved farm with good buildings. He is an enterprising-
farmer and a g-ood citizen.

DoMAN, Lewis Franklin, was born in McLean countv, Illinois,

Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 28 of 99)